Roller Derby has its booms and busts; currently on upswing
Back in the 1960s,
One night, somewhere out on the road, because the Derby was always somewhere out on the road, Joanie held her little dog in her lap, sighed, and told me this, wistfully: "All I want out of the Roller Derby is to make good money, get out of it in one piece, and years from now, when I say I was in the Roller Derby, I want people to still know what it is. I want that."
Joanie died much too young back in 1997, but she'd be happy to know that, incredibly, yes, in 2010 a lot of people
The number keeps growing, but there are now more than five hundred women's leagues in sixteen countries, from all over North America, to Europe, to Australia, to Brazil, to Abu Dabai.
The A&E network did a reality show on the revival.
Now, what kind of a woman would get herself involved in a disreputable fracas like this?
Well, you'd be surprised. The majority of skaters are college-educated, and many are professionals. Alex Cohen, for example, just happens to be the local host of "All Things Considered" in Pasadena. Our own NPRD -- National Public Roller Derby. She's skated under the
For the skaters, the appeal seems to be that they can be both sexy and strong . . . and themselves. Also: The after-bout parties are fabulous.
My old friend